Hours of rain. It doesn’t seem to stop. For days. The soil can no longer absorb the amount of water. Streets are flooded. Storm chaos in Germany!
The German Weather Service (DWD) predicts storms into Thursday. Extreme continuous rain or prolonged heavy rain can cause up to 100 liters of precipitation per square meter up to Thursday morning. Up to 200 liters are possible locally.
But why is the rain so heavy this year?
Climatologist Dr. Karsten Brandt from Donnerwetter.de explained the phenomenon of “standing weather” on BILD Live.
“Normally lows and highs in our westerly wind flow from west to east at a certain speed. So it might rain for a few hours, but then the weather moves on. When the weather is stationary, the weather situation – whether high and sun like 2018 and 2019 or as now low and continuous rain – stays in one place or changes only very slowly. As a result, there is currently extreme amounts of rain. Deep Bernd only makes a few kilometers to the east, hence the storm situation. “
The expert goes on to explain: “The cause could be climate change, as the flow velocity in the atmosphere in the middle latitudes depends on the temperature difference between the Arctic and subtropics. If this difference is smaller (strong warming of the Arctic) the westerly wind becomes weaker and lows and highs slower. “
Storm situation is not over yet
“I am particularly concerned about North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland,” says weather expert Brandt to BILD.
By tomorrow there will be another 100 to 150 liters per square meter. In Düsseldorf per square meter have fallen so far – and that in the state capital of North Rhine-Westphalia. Up to 200 liters per square meter are threatened in Aachen / Eifel and East Belgium. There are fears of landslides, floods and full cellars.
Due to rising water levels, shipping on the Rhine in Rhineland-Palatinate is partially restricted. At the Maxau gauge, the shipping high water mark II was exceeded on Wednesday, as the flood reporting service in Mainz announced.
Climatologist Brandt to BILD: “It is particularly expensive due to the floods on the Rhine and its tributaries. In the middle of summer, hundreds of campsites on the Rhine, Moselle and Nahe have to be cleared. Millions in sales are threatened when the earth-brown Moselle and Rhine waters flood the campsites. Normal camping on the Rhine will only return to normal in August. Shipping will largely have to cease operations from Friday. There is a threat of a level of 8 to 8.4 meters in Cologne. “
For a winter flood this is normal, according to weather expert Brandt, but extremely rare in the middle of the low water time in summer.
There has probably not been such a flood on the Rhine and Main in July / August for over 200 years. The last time there were high water levels was on July 5, 1980, but one to two meters below today’s levels.